Background Although PAR-1 (protease-activated receptor-1) exerts important functions in the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, the role of PAR-1 signaling in heart failure development remains largely unknown. We tested the hypothesis that PAR-1 signaling inhibition has protective effects on the progression of cardiac remodeling induced by chronic renin-angiotensin system activation using renin-overexpressing hypertensive (Ren-Tg) mice. Methods and Results We treated 12- to 16-week-old male wild-type (WT) mice and Ren-Tg mice with continuous subcutaneous infusion of the PAR-1 antagonist SCH79797 or vehicle for 4 weeks. The thicknesses of interventricular septum and the left ventricular posterior wall were greater in Ren-Tg mice than in WT mice, and SCH79797 treatment significantly decreased these thicknesses in Ren-Tg mice. The cardiac fibrosis area and monocyte/macrophage deposition were greater in Ren-Tg mice than in WT mice, and both conditions were attenuated by SCH79797 treatment. Cardiac mRNA expression levels of PAR-1, TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), TGF-β1 (transforming growth factor-β1), and COL3A1 (collagen type 3 α1 chain) and the ratio of β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) to α-MHC were all greater in Ren-Tg mice than in WT mice; SCH79797 treatment attenuated these increases in Ren-Tg mice. Prothrombin fragment 1+2 concentration and factor Xa in plasma were greater in Ren-Tg mice than in WT mice, and both conditions were unaffected by SCH79797 treatment. In isolated cardiac fibroblasts, both thrombin and factor Xa enhanced ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2) phosphorylation, and SCH79797 pretreatment abolished this enhancement. Furthermore, gene expression of PAR-1, TGF-β1, and COL3A1 were enhanced by factor Xa, and all were inhibited by SCH79797. Conclusions The results indicate that PAR-1 signaling is involved in cardiac remodeling induced by renin-angiotensin system activation, which may provide a novel therapeutic target for heart failure.
Keywords: cardiac fibrosis; cardiac hypertrophy; factor Xa; protease‐activated receptor; renin–angiotensin system.